GOP Israel Head Suggests Leftist Conspiracy Over Charlottesville Violence
Education Minister Naftali Bennett called on President Donald Trump’s to specifically condemn the anti-Semitism that was on display at Saturday’s violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and not just violence “on all sides.” But a local GOP leader defended the president, saying Trump’s comments following the riot were responsible and served the goal of uniting the American people following the incident.
Bennett Tweeted overnight between Sunday and Monday that “the leaders of the US must condemn and denounce the displays of anti-Semitism seen over the past few days,” an implicit rebuke of Trump’s statement, which many civil rights groups felt was lackluster.
But Bennetts’ rebuke of the Trump did not dissuade a local GOP leader who is a fervent and vocal support of the president.
Marc Zell, an attorney and head of Republicans Overseas Israel, suggested the clash was orchestrated ahead of time by radical left-wing groups. “Not to sound too conspiratorial, but consider the possibility that Antifa and (George) Soros contemplated the clash in advance,” he Tweeted.
Monday, Zell doubled down on his defense of the president and accused Virginia Democrats, the federal courts and civil rights groups of collaborating with radical left-wing groups to create the conditions that led to the violence. He also blamed Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, both Democrats, for the melee.
“I support Trump’s statement,” Zell told Army Radio. “I’m also against the Nazis (may God erase their names).
“But you’ve got to understand: Both sides were responsible for this. The alt-Right demonstration was approved by the federal court and were defended by a left-wing group [the American Civil Liberties Union – ed.]. They called on all radical leftists to come, and they did- with metal bars, plastic bottles filled with cement…
“So be careful. We are against hate, we are against racism from any side.That’s what Trump said and he was 100 percent right,” Zell said.
Asked if he were disturbed by the site of swastika flags at the rally, Zell insisted that the flags “did not tell the whole story,” and compared Trump to former President Barack Obama’s reaction to race riots in Ferguson, Missouri and other places during his presidency.
There, Zell said, left-wing racist groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa attacked police “but Obama said nothing, for days afterwards. Here, the president denounced the incident immediately and tried to unify the people.”